The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is in a class by itself for a couple reasons, the first is its size and the other is the adrenaline rush it offers the driver. It seems like cars overall are getting bigger, medium sized cars are slightly larger, even SUV’s seem to be gaining in size. Mazda’s two-seat roadster however, steadfastly remains a Miata. In fact, not only is the car roughly the same size today as it was twenty five years ago, it’s actually slimmed down a bit from the previous, third-generation car. It has a slightly shorter wheelbase and is about a half-inch lower, and while it may be overall smaller, ironically it feels bigger inside.
Cabin and Interior of the Mazda MX-5 Miata
The cabin is impeccably designed and well laid out, the seat reclines farther, and there’s slightly more headroom than in the earlier models. The sills are just a bit higher, and the seats are lower by about an inch. All these details contribute to far better visibility, not only forward but all around the vehicle. The engine is set half an inch farther back and a low profile oil pan brings the engine down lower into the frame.
SKYACTIV Technology Powers The Mazda MX-5 Miata
The SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT is one of our favorite engine builds and it is incredibly responsive. Power output is 155 hp @ 6000 rpm with 148 lb-ft of torque @ 4600 rpm. Fuel economy is impressive, delivering 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Whether you select a six speed automatic or a six speed manual, you’re in for a treat. The gearing is perfectly matched to the weight of the vehicle and while we here at Horsepower Broadcasting typically opt for the sophisticated automatic transmission, this is one of the rare occasions when we actually prefer the manual transmission.
For those readers that may be unfamiliar with Mazda’s patented SKYACTIV technology, allow us to give you just a bit of an introduction. It is without question some of the most innovative research and technology in the industry. Mazda describes it this way:
“Our philosophy is that if it’s not worth driving, it’s not worth building.® So in our quest for better environmental performance, our goal was to reduce fuel consumption and emissions without compromising driving performance. To get there, we started with a clean sheet of paper and engineered every major component of the automobile to work together in efficient harmony. The result is revolutionary. Currently, 95% of the world uses gasoline or diesel combustion engines, and by 2020 90% still will. In this fact we saw an enormous opportunity: While we’re developing alternatives, let’s also make the internal combustion engine more efficient right now. That way we can work towards making a big difference in fuel consumption. Our solution is the SKYACTIV®-G gasoline engine, an engineering marvel that produces more low/mid-range torque and less emissions while consuming less fuel.”
SKYACTIV is more than just engine and transmission development, it’s the entire platform including suspension design. Mazda has purposely built a bit of initial compliance into the suspension to give the driver an awareness of load transfer during cornering. The steering has an organic feel that’s transmitted from the road, through the column, and to the drivers hands that create an exhilarating experience second to none.
Chassis, Frame, and Suspension
One of the most impressive points of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the perfect 50/50 weight distribution across the platform. Rarely do we see any model from any manufacturer achieve this feat. Most performance builds initially have this goal but ultimately end up somehow off the mark. To understand the difference, we strongly suggest you spend some time behind the wheel of the new Miata, it’s truly a unique experience.
CJ Wilson Mazda
Big “Thanks” to Bassam Mahmud and the entire crew at CJ Wilson Mazda in Ventura California. Our Horsepower Broadcasting team visited this premiere Mazda Showroom recently to get a closer look at the entire Mazda lineup. Their staff is well prepared, product knowledgeable, and very friendly. Throughout the course of the year we have the pleasure of visiting dozens of dealer showrooms, not only in California but across the nation. None have been more impressive than CJ Wilson Mazda. Whether it’s parts, sales, or service, the CJ Wilson team leads the competition. Click here for our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata video review.